Wednesday, October 17

Jeremy McWilliams added to Sunflower entry


McWilliams returns to the Sunflower Trophy Meeting.



Age is no barrier for globetrotter Jeremy McWilliams, who will team up with Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Team for the end of season Sunflower Trophy races. A past winner at this event, McWilliams will compete in the Supertwins and make his Moto 3 debut on machines supplied by former road racer Ryan Farquhar.

In recent years, Jeremy has participated in various events on KMR bikes, and has proven that despite his age, he can still run with the best. A regular front runner at Classic events, the former Grand Prix competitor is well known for his development work on racing motorcycles and is a past winner at the Sunflower event in the Supertwins on KMR machinery.

He will be joined this weekend by Canadian Darren James, who will ride in the Supertwin class, which already boasts an excellent entry including, newly crowned British Champion Eunan McGlinchy (McAdoo Kawasaki), Glenn Irwin (Burrows Engineering Kawasaki), Robert Kennedy (Cloverdale/ILR Paton), Paul McClung, a double winner here two year ago and recently crowned USBK Supertwin Champion, Gary McCoy.

Speaking to Farquahar ahead of the event: “For me today (Wednesday) and the weekend is more about testing new parts for next season. Had loads of things for Derek to test after the UGP, but due to his injuries, Derek wanted to concentrate on getting fit for2019 so there’s no doubting Jeremys ability to test things. From a team point of view, it’s all about next year’s NW and TT. Darren James didn’t get much track time at the NW so he’s back to get a spin out and try and put his misfortune behind him.”

 Jeremy McWilliams;
“Just arrived back from Portimao, I’m riding a twin and moto 3. First time on a moto 3 bike so that’ll be interesting. Ryan been busy with some new things to test today (Wednesday) on the twins and make a decision depending on what we prefer to race on Saturday. No superbike for me, the twin race looks like a good line up so looking forward to see how Ryan’s bikes have developed since I rode the NW.”

Tuesday, October 16

Michael Laverty lines up another Sunflower title shot



Laverty aiming for Sunflower Trophy win number 7



Six times a winner of the Sunflower Trophy Races Michael Laverty will be the sole representative for the TYCO BMW team at this weekend’s Sunflower Trophy races at Bishopscourt.
Laverty who joined the TYCO team prior this event last year is aiming to reclaim this Sunflower Trophy for the 7th time. Last year, Laverty finished a close second to winner Glenn Irwin, who unfortunately won’t be lining up on the Superbike grid this year.

The Toome rider will line up alongside Buildbase rider, Richard Cooper and FS3 Kawasaki rider Danny Buchan, Isle of man TT winner, Dean Harrison, David Haire, Carl Philips and our own USBK Champion Gerard Kinghan for the 41st Sunflower Trophy race.
Bichopscourt lap record holder and team mate to Laverty in the TYCO squad, former Supermoto champion Christain Iddon was hoping to compete, but after Two crashes at Brands hatch last weekend, he has been ruled out on medical grounds.



Michael Laverty;
"I’m looking forward to coming home for the Sunflower trophy races, it’s always a great event and an enjoyable way to round out the season. The competition will be tough especially with BSB riders Danny Buchan and Richard Cooper also on the grid, I will give it my best to try and etch my name on the trophy for the 7th time. Bishopscourt is a great venue, the improvements to the circuit really impressed me last year so thanks to Philip and Hector Neill plus the Hillsborough club who have made it possible for me to race there once again.”

Monday, October 15

Glenn Irwin to defend Sunflower Supertwin lap record




In a rather unexpected move, BSB star Glenn Irwin will compete in this weekend’s Sunflower Trophy races, but not on the Superbike as everyone expected, but in the Supertwins class, where he is the Bishopscourt lap record holder for this class.

His bike is being prepared for the Macau GP, where it will be ridden by John McGuinness, this leaving the Lisburn rider without a bike for the Sunflower Trophy races, a Trophy he has won for the past two years. John Burrows then offered Glenn the use of his Kawasaki ER6, on which Irwin holds the Bishopscourt circuit Supertwin lap record. The Supertwin race also includes fellow competitors on one off rides in this class.

Robert Kennedy who has put in some impressive results in the past at this event in the Supertwin class, will ride Dave Cloverdales/ILR Paton, joining these riders will be Newly crowned British Champion, the hotshot of Irish circuit racing, Eunan McGlinchy as he  gets his chance to prove his worth on the McAdoo racing Kawasaki, and we cannot discount Scotland’s Paul McClung, who made his debut here two years ago, winning both Supertwin races and lapping just under Glenn Irwin’s lap record. Recently crowned Irish Supertwin Champion, Gary McCoy will line up alongside Denver Robb and Cahal Graham.



Glenn Irwin “With permission from PBM, I’m really looking to racing at Bishopscourt this weekend and although I won’t be riding in the Sunflower race, I’m teaming up with John Burrows again for the Supertwins races.

“I’d love to have been able to try and win the Sunflower Trophy for a third year, but it’s just not possible this year. Martin Jessopp and John McGuinness will be testing the bikes before they go to the Macau Grand Prix and it’s now their time to ride the bike and prepare for Macau.
“I completely understand that and I’d want to be getting a ride on the bike for the first time as well before going to a road race, and it’s more important that they have the chance to do that.”


More BSB podium success for Korie McGreevy






Ballynahinch rider Korie McGreevy took another podium finish, his third from four starts at the 2018 Pirelli National Superstock  600 Championship with Black Horse at a damp final round at Brands Hatch Circuit.

Having being black flagged for an oil leak during practice, Korie was penalised for this misendamour, and dropped to second to 5th on the grid. A good start saw McGreevey on his IMR Triumph jump into third place, which he maintained for most of the race. Towards the end, he managed to get ahead of his rival, Kevin Keyes to end his foray into the British Championship in fine style by taking second behind the victorious Ryan Vickers, who has dominated this class throughout the season.



Korie contested four rounds of the championship, scored a fine win at Knockhill, took second at Brands Hatch, third at Silverstone and crashed out at Snetterton.
Korie will now prepare for his final race of the  season, the Sunflower Trophy Race meeting, which takes place this Friday and Saturday at his local race circuit, Bishopscourt .

Korie is also in negotiations with view to getting a Superbike ride for this meeting.

Korie would like to thank all 2018 Sponsors for making this happen, and giving him the chance to prove he has what it takes.

Sponsors-
Century Racing, IMR Racing, CJ Photography, Ernie Coates Motorcycles, Strada 7, Belfast Land Rover Centre, IMC, Kirsten, Kia, Enlightened Promotions, Adam Wilson, ML Design, Alan Carter, Graham Family, Alex Knowles, Daryl Heverin, Triumph Aberdeen-Shirlaws Motorcycles, and Bashford Family.
Special Thanks to Peter Van Dijk for his Support in Kories  BSB Campaign



Krystle Black

Enlightened Promotions

Image courtesy of Baylon McGaughey

Sunday, October 14

Harrison Fords way to Sunflower Star Wars




Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix Superbike lap record holder, Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki)  is the latest rider to sign up for this weekend’s Sunflower Trophy race meeting at Bishopscourt.

Harrison, who also was victorious in the Classic TT Superbike class, has been taking in  the end of season BSB meetings in order to keep at the sharp end ,and is looking forward to making his debut at the Sunflower Trophy Race meeting.

The 29 year old Bradford rider, who has resigned for the Silicone team for 2019, will compete in the Superbike class. Harrison made his Irish debut back in 2010, when he competed in the Support classes on the roads for local race team, McKinstry Racing.
The Sunflower Trophy race meeting which takes place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October also incorporates the final round of the 2018 USBK Championships.

Darren Cooper to ride at the Sunflower


Team NW Racing will finish off the 2018 season at the Sunflower Trophy on Friday/Saturday 19/20th October at the Bishopscourt Circuit. This will be Darren’s first outing at the popular Co. Down course, and while he has concentrated on the road races this year, Darren was out recently at the BSB round at Oulton Park on his 600 Kawasaki. He qualified well, and while he got a great start in race one, a problem with the regulator saw him slip down the field, and he finished in 22nd.
In the second race which was wet, he had tyre problems and suffered from a lack of grip, and had a few hairy moments. Despite this he ended up 21st in the race. Darren will race the NW Racing BMW 1000, as well as his 600 and 650 Kawasaki’s over the two day season finale meeting.

Noel Williamson; “We are delighted with the season that we have had, and it will be great to get out with the big boys for a season finale. It will be good for the team and for our rider Darren Cooper, and while this will be a new circuit to him, he has a great approach when learning new circuits. The Sunflower is always a great meeting, and a well supported one as well. I would like to thank everyone who have supported the team this season, and hopefully we will have a good weekend”

Darren Cooper; “I am looking forward to rounding off the season, where I will be riding the three bikes which will keep me and the team busy. I appreciate the organisers for making the event happen, and hopefully it will be a fitting finale to the season. I have had a fantastic year and I can’t thank Noel and Stanley for all the work that they have put in for me”

“Hopefully the weather will be good to us and the fans will turn up to make the meeting a memorable one. I would also like to thank all the Irish fans for making me so welcome at the various events during the year, and I look forward to returning next season”

Jack Corry

Friday, October 12

Sunflower debut for Buildbase Suzuki Richard Cooper



Heading for his Sunflower Trophy races debut is 35-year-old Hawk Racing Buildbase Suzuki rider Richard Cooper.
The Nottingham rider was in great form at the recent BSB meeting at Assen in Holland, where in the second race he finished 5th, just two seconds behind current Sunflower Trophy Holder Glenn Irwin (PBM Be Wiser Ducati).
Cooper currently lies joint 13th in the ultra-competitive BSB Championship, just 8 points behind Michael Laverty (TYCO BMW).
Now in his 19th season, Cooper was the BMW Boxer Champion in 2005, and British Superstock champion in 2011.

Hawk Racing Buildbase Suzuki, under the guidance of Stuart Hicken are no strangers to this event, but are still looking for their first win at this popular end of season event . Richard Cooper has tried to get to the Sunflower on various occasions, but events he was contracted to often clashed with the Sunflower meeting, and this year is the first time his diary is free.
Richard Cooper; “The bikes are good enough and I’m good enough, so no reason why we cannot have a good go at it this year”
Buildbase Suzuki will be bringing another, yet unnamed rider to the Sunflower.
Image credit - Glynne Lewis

Wednesday, October 10

Sunflower beckons for past winner Danny Buchan



The ever popular Danny Buchan, twice winner of the Sunflower Trophy, is relishing a return to the County Down circuit, with view to reclaiming the Trophy he has previously won.
Buchan has competed at the Sunflower in recent years on Superstock machinery, but for this year’s event, Buchan will compete on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Superbike. Annoyed at missing out in the BSB Showdown, the Basildon rider is aiming to end his season on a high.
Two podium finishes at Knockhill prove that his and the team are competitive, as he was in the running for the showdown, until a practice spill at Oulton Park put him out of that meeting, and valuable  points were lost. Heading to the final round this weekend at Brands Hatch, Buchan is currently lying in 10th place.
Buchan fired the warning shots in the opening Superbike race at the Sunflower Trophy race meeting last year when he beat pre-race favourites, Glenn Irwin and Michael Laverty. In the Feature race, he had to settle for fourth spot, just losing out to Carl Philips. If he can take the covert win this year, he will get to keep the Trophy, first given to Scot Brian Morrisson, when he won the event three times.


Photo Credits to Glynne Lewis\Andy Quinn


Tuesday, October 9

Michael Owens wins the final 2018 Young Racer of the Year nomination





A fantastic Supersport class debut at the final Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship event of 2018 has secured the seventh and last 'Young Racer of the Year' nomination for Michael Owens. Having started the season in Junior Cup the Ulster teenager has made tremendous progress culminating in his double podium winning Supersport 'Cup' debut at Mondello Park last Sunday, Sept 30th.

The Young Racer of the Year award is organised by Mondello Park and is open to any rider who is under twenty three and competing at the Masters. Following each event a panel of experts select one of the eligible riders to go forward to the end of year shoot-out where they have a chance to battle for the €10,000 prize provided by Mondello Park, Dawn International and EICL.

Owens, from Tyrone, is a son of former 125cc and sidecar racer Phelim Owens and only began circuit racing this year. Previously he had raced Karts and was a Cadet champion before his thoughts turned towards Motorcycle Racing and a handful of minibike races in 2016. Following a year off last season Owens started 2018 on a Junior Cup machine but a decision was recently taken to get a Supersport bike in preparation for next season. Michael's insistence on giving it a try before the end of 2018 led to his Masters debut at Mondello Park last weekend.

A strong run in testing on Friday was not backed up in qualifying, leaving Michael just outside the 110% qualifying standard required to make the grid for the championship race. With the organisers allowed a little leeway for experienced riders who they feel could run stronger than they had in qualifying, Michael successfully argued for his inclusion on the grid where he would start from last for race one.

An excellent run in the first race saw Michael knock over three seconds off his qualifying time, as he climbed to tenth overall and fifth in the 'Cup' class. Now starting from eight on the grid courtesy of his race one lap time, Michael moved up to fifth early in the race and held second in the Cup battle. At the flag the eighteen year old rookie had his first ever Cup podium and an excellent sixth place overall.

Race three began with Owens sixth on the grid and another impressive ride saw him hold on to that position throughout the race as well as grabbing another Cup runner-up spot. A second appearance on the 'Cup' podium and a Young Racer of the Year nomination was the youngsters reward, to finish off his Masters Supersport debut.

Speaking on hearing about his nomination Owens said “I'm shocked and I'm over the moon. I only started racing on circuits this season and my only previous experience was a handful of races on a pit bike ,which my late Grandfather bought for me in 2016. Prior to starting 2018 in Junior Cup I'd never ridden a proper Motorbike and I'd never even seen Mondello Park. I cant believe how quickly I've progressed and how well last weekend went. I've so many people to thank for getting me here, my family, especially my Grandad, Go Greener, JRM plumbing, the Ryandale Restaurant, David Devaney, Team Denoria and Eileen and Marty, along with everyone involved in the Young Racer award. We're just a small team so I'm really fired up for the shoot-out as winning this award would be a huge boost to my plans for next season.”



Michael Owens now completes the line-up for the Young Racer final where he will join Aaron Wright, Caolán Irwin, Jamie Lyons, Eoin Collins, Kevin Baker and Nathan McGauran. As part of his prize he will also receive a free entry, testing and garage space for his first 2019 Mondello Park appearance. The date for the final shoot out will be announced shortly.

For more information see www.masterssuperbike.ie/young-racer-of-the-year.





Sunday, September 30

Dunlop Masters 2018 final rounds - Results and Report




Pre-injection

Ian Prendergast won all 3 pre-injection races this weekend sharing the podium with Ivan Oxley who claimed 3 2nd places. The third place trophies went to Colin Murphy and Darryl Sharkey over the 3 10 lap races. Prendergast was also on pole position with a 58s lap time.



Junior Cup and Young Guns

Jamie Lyons was on top of his game all season and this weekend was no different. Nathan McGauran and Scott McCrory kept him honest as they both battled for podiums. There was consistency across the 3 races and the podiums were the same for all with Nathan McGauran bringing home three 2nd places and McCrory three 3rd places. Lyons was also the pole sitter with a time of 1.03.

In the Young Guns category, it was between Alex Duncan and Karl Lynch on the Aprilia for the weekend. Duncan won the 3 races but, Karl Lynch closed the gap and was a deserved 2nd place rival.

Supertwins

Derek Wilson took a hat trick of wins in the Supertwins classes after some competition. The other trophies went to David Halligan, Jason Cassells and Ross Irwin. David Halligan was 2nd in Race 1 and Jason Cassells was 3rd. An identical podium was formed in Race 2 with Wilson, Halligan and Cassells taking the honours. Wilson and Halligan again took the first two places of Race 3 both Mondello newcomer Ross Irwin, brother of BSB racers Glenn and Andrew, was 3rd. Derek Wilson was also the Pole sitter with as he dipped into the 59’s.



Production twins

Kevin Dempsey took all 3 wins in the Production class to compliment his championship title. In Race 1 Jamie Collins was 2nd from Brendan Glover. In Race 2 it was Shane O’Donovan in 2nd and Mark Quilligan 3rd. Race 3’s podium comprised of Dempsey, John Ward and Jamie Collins. Kevin Dempsey took Pole Position on Saturday with a time of 59.9s.

Superbike Pro

Richie Ryan had the championship title secured but, still turned up to fight for the 3 remaining races. He won all three despite the best efforts of Peter Moloney who collected two 2nd places and a 3rd. Other podiums went Luke Johnston and James Kelly. Richie Ryan was fastest in qualifying with a 54.5 second lap.



Superbike Cup

Keelim Ryan had the use of Frank Doherty’s R1 for the weekend and put it to good use taking 2 wins in the Cup class. Chris Campbell was 2nd in Race 1 and Michael Prendergast was 3rd. Chris Campbell won Race 2 from Ryan and Michael Prendergast in 3rd. In Race 3 Chris Campbell was 2nd and Michael Prendergast 3rd. Gary O’Brien qualified in Pole Position with a 56.5s lap.

Supersport Pro

Emmett O’Grady won the Supersport title with 3rd place in Race 1 which Aaron Wright would go ahead and win from Caolán Irwin. Irwin went one place better to win Race 2 from Keelim Ryan and O’Grady in 3rd. After an error in Race 2, Aaron was back in winning form for Race 3 with another win from O’Grady and Keelim Ryan in 3rd. Aaron Wright also qualified on Pole Position with a 54.5s lap.



Supersport Cup

Keelim Ryan dominated the Cup class with 3 wins. In Race 1 Eoin Collins was 2nd from Kevin Baker. In Race 2 Tyrone’s Michael Owens picked up his first 600 podium from 3rd place Eoin Collins. He repeated the result for Race 3 where John Kavanagh was 3rd.



Sidecars

Although Sidecar championship was already sewn up by Dylan Lynch and Mark Gash, still 9 outfits lined up on the grid. Derek Lynch and Anthony McDonnell did the treble over the weekend winning Race 1 from Mark Codd/Liam Gordon and Philip McNally/Dave Butler in 3rd. Codd and Gordon were also 2nd in Race 2 and 3rd place went to Darren O’Dwyer and Ciaran Gordon. Race 3 was a repeat of Race 1 with 1st place going to Lynch\McDonnell, 2nd Mark Codd/Liam Gordon and Philip McNally/Dave Butler in 3rd. Lynch and McDonnell were also quickest in qualifying with a 59.9 lap.



Moto 400

Race 1 in the Moto400 class went to Damien Horgan from Alan Smyth and Slane Maguire in 3rd which was enough for Maguire to secure the Championship. Maguire’s celebrations continued with a win in Race 2 from Horgan. Alan Smyth was 3rd. Smyth was the quickest in qualifying however with a lap time of 1.02.

Classic Superbikes

In the Classic Superbikes, Chris Campbell won both races from Robin Heathcote on the 750 Yamaha. 3rd place in Race 1 went to Conor Mulally and in Race 2, Cork’s Sean Griffin put his 750 Yamaha on the podium 3rd. Chris Campbell wins the CSBK Championship.

‘B’ Races

Race 1 was won by Shane Connolly from John Cahill and Robert Toner 3rd on the Superbike. The Supersport Race was won by Dara Crean from James Cottrell and 3rd place went to John Rock. Connolly won Race 2 from Cahill and Noel Carroll. Richard Walsh won the Supersport race from David Kelly. Noel Carroll took the race 3 win from Shane Connolly and Cahill sealed another 3rd place. In the last Supersport race Richard Walsh won again from David Kelly.

Words - Andy Quinn

Images Johnny Sweeney\Andy Quinn